The Trump administration, backed by GOP-majorities in Congress, has the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in its crosshairs.
It's one thing to make a defective product, one that inherently puts people at risk due to a poor design or poor manufacturing. It's quite another to then try to cover up these defects so that sales aren't impacted -- and to avoid an expensive re-design -- which increases the risk to consumers.
Some have said that few types of fraud are as old as marketing fraud. When a product is misrepresented to get sales, it can often constitute fraud. For example, selling sugar pills and claiming they're 100 percent guaranteed to cure a cold or warts or a fever is fraud, but this type of thing has happened forever.
Minnesota-based TCF National Bank is in hot water with the authorities, facing accusations of fraud. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken action to combat the bank's questionable overdraft program.
The elderly are often targeted with scams and fraud. In fact, a study carried out by MetLife looked at the numbers from 2010 and found that those over the age of 59 lost a total of $2.9 billion that year alone. On top of that, the Federal Trade Commission looked at telemarketing scams and discovered that 80 percent of them were aimed at people over 60. Why is this?
A judge ruled that the Minnesota School of Business and Globe University both have to pay back students who were defrauded. Over 1,200 students should get money back for their tuition.
The bait and switch is an advertising gimmick that is illegally used to scam consumers. Essentially, a store will advertise a sale on one item, but then they won't actually sell you that item if you come into the store.
Have you ever seen a convincing commercial and then thought that it had to be too good to be true? Well, if you're right, the advertiser could be in a fair amount of trouble. Legally speaking, the Federal Trade Commission demands that all ads, no matter what products they're for or what industry they're used in, be accurate and true. The law goes on to say that ads can't be deliberately misleading, noting that backing up the ads with scientific evidence is a good idea when such a thing is possible.
In a lot of consumer fraud cases, those who commit fraud simply try to find something that they know people care strongly about. They'll then invent fake organizations and try to get people to give them money, all with the intent of disappearing with the cash when all is said and done.
In our last post, we began discussing how consumers should never assume that the financial entities able to wield considerable authority over their everyday purchasing powers are somehow beyond reproach or that they have no recourse in the event these entities harm their interests.